Nov 7 2016

Mihâly Vig

Aida

In my absence I have done nothing of significance except come across this great gem (I think it may be the coolest thing I’ve ever seen (emphasis on coolest)).

And some movie recommendations:

The Turin Horse by Béla Tarr (Hungary, 2011)
I Am Love by Luca Guadagnino (Italy, 2009)
The Chaser by Hong-jin Na (Korea, 2008)
Once Upon A Time In Anatolia by Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Turkey, 2011)
Son of Saul by László Nemes (Hungary, 2015)


Feb 24 2016

Stanley Kubrick Was A Renaissance Painter

Aida

These film stills from Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” kill me. They chew on every desire, pull at every inspiration, and push me until I am walking back and forth into a wall.
This is a constant in my life.

“The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning.” —Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick - Barry Lyndon

Stanley Kubrick - Barry Lyndon

Stanley Kubrick - Barry Lyndon

Stanley Kubrick - Barry Lyndon

Movie stills from: Barry Lyndon 1975
Directed by: Stanley Kubrick
Director Of Photography: John Alcott


Jun 11 2015

He Was Pointing At The Moon, But I Was Looking At His Hand

Aida

I have always been in love, my whole life, since I was a child I am sure. Even when I did not love a sepcific person I was still in love with love. And it pained me and created a hopeless romantic out of me, but it also created a dark side I can no longer shake off. I have learned to hide it so well that sometimes even I forget it exists. I realize now I am in love with this darkness. I love how it looms over me, hovers, and despises me. It is comforting, and familiar in a lot of my photography. Art is tragic, and I think you need to be strong to overcome the isolation and the darkness of it all because you are the darkness and it is your heart you are painting or versing or photographing, always. Beauty becomes accompanied by a saddness, a sort of nostalgia, I don’t really know what…
All I know is that it all makes me happy, and sad because I miss him, and I wish I could talk to him after all these years because he was dark and beautiful and I was always looking at his hands.

Aida Gradina Photography
(“Melancholia” series, my friend Rose taken at the Rose garden)

Eventually something you love is going to be taken away. And then you will fall to the floor crying. And then, however much later, it is finally happening to you: you’re falling to the floor crying thinking, “I am falling to the floor crying,” but there’s an element of the ridiculous to it — you knew it would happen and, even worse, while you’re on the floor crying you look at the place where the wall meets the floor and you realize you didn’t paint it very well.
- Richard Siken (includes title of post)

And speaking of all that’s dark here are a few films, my dear reader, I promised to recommend every now and then for your viewing pleasure

1992 Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me – David Lynch
1999 Eyes Wide Shut – Stanley Kubrick
2011 Melancholia – Lars Von Trier
2013 Nymphomaniac – Lars Von Trier
2013 Young and Beautiful – François Ozon
2014 Lost River – Ryan Gosling


May 14 2015

Are You Going To Teach Me About The Meaning Of Life

Aida

stalker

There’s something peculiar in the trees when the wind hits so hard it stirs the peace, quietly.
First the sound, a hush like whisper that spreads from one to the other, then the sight, a sway from left to the right.
It’s almost heartbreaking, this image.
I’ve fallen in love with it, and yet I cannot grasp the beauty of it. I grow frastruated looking at it, as if I want to leap into this tree, into this wind, and be one with it.
Actually, I just want to capture it.

I want to be a filmmaker one day, this desire drives me insane, for I don’t know how to start but ponder over incredibly captured films I’ve seen over the years.
My photography is inspired by films. Most recently I’ve started to pay closer attention to the ways of filmmaking; what makes a good film?
When I see one that I thoroughly enjoy and gain inspiration from it becomes imprisoning not having anyone to share it with. Therefore, my dear reader, I shall bestow this entrapment on you.

Earlier I belive I’ve stated my unconditional love for Russian literature. Today, I proudly confess my love for Russian filmmakers.
I wish I was more eloquent and precise in my writing for I would write an essay about my love and respect for Andrei Tarkovsky, however words cannot expess everything.

Look out for a short list of films every now and then in these posts, I hope you find one you like.

2014 Leviathan – Andrey Zvyagintsev
2003 The Return – Andrey Zvyagintsev
1979 Stalker – Andrei Tarkovsky

stalker_545560


May 15 2013

And I Love Sofia Coppola

Aida

This world can be so beautiful if you let it.


Mar 19 2013

Roses And Sycamore Trees

Aida

“Love is so short —
Forgetting is so long ———–”

(Pablo Neruda – Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines)

I got idea man you take me for a walk under the sycamore trees the dark trees that blow baby in the dark trees that blow and I’ll see you and you’ll see me and I’ll see you in the branches that blow in the breeze, I’ll see you in the trees under the sycamore trees

David Lynch (lyrics), Angelo Badalamenti (music), Jimmy Scott (singer)


Apr 16 2012

And So It Goes

Aida

This is how I feel about contemporary arts

And this is how Christians apparently feel about “A Clockwork Orange”

I took these photos with my phone when I was “studying” with my dear friend at SFU.


Feb 2 2012

Lacrimosa

Aida

“Lord…who are we to you?”

A scene from the film “The Tree Of Life”.
I feel restless because of it. I have never in my life seen a more beautiful film. Every single scene is a photograph of unbelievable beauty, it’s a film about life itself in every form imaginable.
I simply cannot understand how someone can create such a masterpiece.


Sep 5 2011

Intelligent Filmmaking

Aida

So I’ve been meaning to post the official Batman trailer for a while now. It’s still a long way away from being released and I’m sure there will be better trailers out there fairly soon but for those of you who are as anxious as I am here it is…”The Dark Knight Rises”

I guess I forgot to mention…The Dark Knight is my favourite film.
I spent the weekend talking and discussing, and watching, various works of Christopher Nolan. I am speechless…what a genius…

“Films are subjective-what you like, what you don’t like. But the thing for me that is absolutely unifying is the idea that every time I go to the cinema and pay my money and sit down and watch a film go up on-screen, I want to feel that the people who made that film think it’s the best movie in the world, that they poured everything into it and they really love it. Whether or not I agree with what they’ve done, I want that effort there-I want that sincerity. And when you don’t feel it, that’s the only time I feel like I’m wasting my time at the movies.”
- Christopher Nolan


Jul 22 2011

A Dream

Aida

My amazing friend Rose made a short video a few months ago which I wanted to share.
Together we decided to work on short film projects which I’ve been extremely passionate about for years.
Over the weekend I took her camera and recorded a few scenes in her background during pouring rain. It awakened me and I felt like my old self again.

On The Ineffable from Rose Misko on Vimeo.

Captured with a primitive point-and-shoot; my first video project. (For my world lit. class)
In response to Stefan George’s poem “Words”
Scenes from Mexico and Vancouver
Music: “In Space” by Royksopp


Dec 13 2010

I Love Great Films!

Aida

I never wanted to be alone, never wanted to spend my time with myself and was always looking for company. Ironically, there wasn’t a lot of company around.
So I found films, music, literature, and photography. And now I’m happy.
Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time by myself and have seen more than a few brilliant films and I wanted to dedicate this post to those film makers who constantly inspire me to come up with a style, a script, and a passion to make my own film. And it’s working. I’ve had a lot of great ideas and a few great individuals around whose interest for films keeps me on my toes and force me to think, think, think!

For anyone who knows me, I am a huge movie buff and I can’t keep silent when it comes to great films, or bad films. So I want to take a few minutes and share a few good titles which I’ve been greatful to come across and see…All which I highly recommend and beg you to see.

1. Moon
2. A Bittersweet Life
3. Mother
4. The White Ribbon
5. Hero
6. Spirited Away
7. A Single Man
8. Mulholland Dr.
9. A Prophet

I find movie stills to be one of the best ways to express oneself through photographs. To be a movie stills photographer would be a dream come true. And I have dreamed of it…especially to be on the set of Lost in Translation…or Memoirs of a Geisha…Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
How do they do it?

“Mother” by Joon-ho Bong

“A Single Man” by Tom Ford

“A Prophet” by Jacques Audiard

And now I’m off to see “Memories of Murder” by the great Joon-ho Bong.


Oct 23 2010

Transmission

Aida

For today, I leave you with my favorite punk-rock band Joy Division.
If you get a chance to see the beautiful film “Control”, watch it.


Oct 12 2010

Loves of my Life

Aida

1) Poetry

“She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that ‘s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellow’d to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair’d the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!”

– Lord Byron 1788–1824

2) Films

Yesterday I got around to see a film at the Vancouver International Film Festival called “R”, a Danish film directed by Michael Noer and
Tobias Lindholm. My attraction to heavy films got me extremely excited about this one. And I wasn’t dissapointed. After I left the theater, I spent hours thinking about it, I’m still thinking about it. Although I’m not much of a movie critic, I have to say that this one goes on my list of top 10. Its realism is far too easy to slip into yet difficult to contain; it takes you in and when it’s all over it takes hours, maybe days to come out. Although, this heavy feautre is about life in prison which was documented in a very realistic sceneraio (filmed in a shut-down penitentiary with real ex-convicts and ex-guards as part of the cast) I saw scenes, or currently in my head, stills, that were just so beautifully filmed. The scenes were short keeping the spectator on the toes for 99 minutes, with no time to take a breath, no time to relax, and music that creeps up, the same throughout the film, brings you to the edge…and then you remember to take a step back, since it’s only a theatre, with exit signs…with an escape.
I highly recommend it. Critics say it’s “a cousin to “A Prophet”, another film I’m anxiously waiting to see.

3) Photography

Nothing is ordinary with photography, and everything is a wonderland. The second I take my camera I feel like I am slipping into a wonderland of my own.
Try it out and your will to imagine will surprise you, then it will inspire you.

I wanted to share a few images I found using my ITouch and some wallpaper applications.
I wish I could credit the photographers, painter, designers of these images but I don’t know who they are or how to find the information.
Whoever you are, thanks again for the inspiration.


Sep 30 2010

Silent Poetry

Aida

So Vancouver International Film Festival has arrived today! I am very excited and I will try and see as many films as I possibly can. I’m looking forward to seeing some Canadian films since I haven’t seen many of those yet. Hollywood has taken over the world and most of the time it’s a sad, sad thing.
At the course I’m taking, my professor gives us a film tip every week. This weeks film tip was to watch “Ruhr”. It’s at the VIFF.
My film tip of the day is more like a film rant:
Recently I’ve seen the trailer for the new film that’s coming out tomorrow. It’s called “Let Me In”. Now, I would STRONGLY suggest to watch the film “Let the Right One In” which is an amazing Swedish film about Vampires. I find it very difficult to find a movie about vampires that is believable and interesting and actually flattering in some way. “Let the Right One In” was amazing. I have seen it 4 times and it never gets dull. Now, “Let Me In” is the SAME EXACT FILM as “Let the Right One In” except it’s an American version. Although I have not seen the film yet I would’nt waste my money. Rent or watch “Let the Right One In” online and I promise you will not be dissapointed, well not as disappointed as you would be if you saw “Let Me In”, at least that’s my opinion.
Another quick rant, since we are on this subject:
The movie “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is being treated exactly the same. I find it ridiculous. The movie was one of the best I’ve seen this year, an amazing cast and crew and I don’t understand it. Why make the same film that was just released last year? If it was horrible I’d understand, but it was fantastic…
Oh, the HORROR!

Okay, enough about that.

Today was a lovely day and at six pm it was even lovelier since the sun starts to set and its light becomes golden.
I went out with my camera hoping to catch a few leaves, but, instead I managed to capture several photographs of flowers that have yet to wither away.

As a child I always dreamed of being small enough to live inside a flower. Its petals look so soft and welcoming, a warm place. I dreamed about clouds in that way as well; how one day I will jump from one cloud to the next…actually I still dream of that day, but since we’re on the theme of flowers…well…you get the point.

Imagination is everything.

I photograph with a Nikon D700 using a Tamron 90 mm 2.8 macro lens.


90 mm, f/10, 1/50sec, ISO 2000

90 mm, f/5.0, 1/60 sec, ISO 640

90 mm, f/5.0, 1/40 sec, ISO 640


Sep 24 2010

Village of the Watermills

Aida

I wanted to share a part of a film I saw last night called “Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams”, yes, you guessed it, written and directed by Kurosawa and based on his dreams. Quite remarkable.

One day you will find me living in peace in a village of the watermills.



Sep 22 2010

Aida

A Saturday night, or early Sunday morning, I spent two hours with two of my friends on my balcony. A rainstorm inspired me to photograph a lily that was seperated from the rain by glass. I photographed the flower 85 times, and I haven’t felt that happy in a long time.

I’m taking a course at SFU called History and Aesthetics of Cinema 1. The course is focused on films from 1895 to 1950 and so far we’ve been watching ‘one wheelers’ or really short silent films. Yesterday we saw “True Heart Susie” and I’ve never seen a full feature silent film before and had my doubts but this was an incredible romantic comedy. It was hilarious. I highly recommend it to everyone and I promise you will laugh, more so than you laugh at modern day comedies which are all pretty much crap.

Other movies I’ve been trying to see are Akira Kurosawa movies. So far I saw “Seven Samurai” and “Rashomon”. Although “Seven Samurai” is three hours and 24 minutes I believe, I couldn’t get enough of it. It’s truly a beautiful film. The way it’s carried (if you can even say that about films I’m not sure) and the way all of the characters are developed blew me away. “Rashomon” had a similar style, although not as good as “Seven Samurai” it still held true to the director’s style. The scenes in the forest when the characters look up at the trees is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I felt like I was there and that I could feel the wind and see the colours of those trees (both are black and white movies). Another one that I’ve seen is “The Sea Is Watching” written by Akira Kurosawa. Although not directed by him and made years after he died, his presence yet again seeps through the scenes.

Enough about that.

Lily and Rain.